Top Foods To Eat This Autumn

We highlight our top five favourite fruits and vegetables, to eat this Autumn that are rich in disease fighting phytochemicals.

School Of Nutrition Posted Nov 22, 2017 Future Fit Training


As summer has drawn to a close, the days have become shorter, colder and summer fruits have disappeared. Fortunately Autumn brings a variety of deep green and brilliant orange coloured fruits and vegetables, for us to enjoy this season.

Top five fruits and vegetables to enjoy this Autumn

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are loaded with numerous nutrients, which include fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The bright orange colour of pumpkins is actually an indicator that it is high in the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is partially converted to vitamin A, which is known to help the body in fighting off infections and improving body immunity (1).

As pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene, they can also help lower your risk of developing metabolic syndrome (2). Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms which have been associated with abdominal obesity; these symptoms include hypertension, poor control of blood sugar and elevated levels of triglycerides, all factors which can increase your risk of heart diseases.

Clementine’s

Often seedless with loose skin making them easier to peel, clementine’s are sweet and have a bunch of health benefits associated with them. Clementine’s are a citrus fruit, which makes them an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient which is known to strengthen the immune system and even improve the elasticity of the skin (3, 4).

Clementine’s are also low in calories, yet their high water and fibre content are helpful in filling you up (5). In fact a study from 2015 which followed participants for over twenty four years found that those who ate citrus fruits often were more likely to lose weight (6).

Apples

Apples are popular fruits and have so many nutritional benefits for your body. They have even been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease (7). This may be because apples contain soluble fibres which can help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Other naturally occurring substances have been found in apples may help in preventing cancer through several ways, which includes antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (8).

Drinking apple juice can also be beneficial for age related mental health decline. An animal study found that apple juice concentrate reduced the harmful reactive oxygen species in brain tissue and minimised mental decline (9).

Brussels Sprouts

These cruciferous vegetables look like tiny cabbages and are typically served cut and cooked as a complimentary side dish. Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants which can help to lower your risk of chronic diseases. A study found that eating two cups of Brussels sprouts daily was linked to a decrease of oxidative stress in cells by twenty eight percent (10).

Brussels sprouts are also rich in vitamin K and studies have found taking vitamin K can help to increase bone strength along with a decrease in the risk of bone fracture in women who are post-menopause (11).

Kiwis

These delicious fruits can be helpful in treating asthma; a study from 2000 found that there was a beneficial effect on the function of the lungs on those people who ate kiwis regularly (12). Kiwi can also aid digestion as it is full of fibre, the kiwi extract actinidin has also been found to greatly enhance the digestion of most proteins (13).

For more information on the top foods to eat this autumn, see our nutrition diplomas page. 

[Sources]

  1. Veldhoen, M. and Ferreira, C., 2015. Influence of nutrient-derived metabolites on lymphocyte immunity. Nature medicine21(7), pp.709-718.
  2. Sugiura, M., Nakamura, M., Ogawa, K., Ikoma, Y. and Yano, M., 2015. High serum carotenoids associated with lower risk for the metabolic syndrome and its components among Japanese subjects: Mikkabi cohort study. British Journal of Nutrition114(10), pp.1674-1682.
  3. Rhie, G.E., Shin, M.H., Seo, J.Y., Choi, W.W., Cho, K.H., Kim, K.H., Park, K.C., Eun, H.C. and Chung, J.H., 2001. Aging-and photoaging-dependent changes of enzymic and nonenzymic antioxidants in the epidermis and dermis of human skin in vivo. Journal of investigative dermatology117(5), pp.1212-1217.
  4. Schagen, S.K., Zampeli, V.A., Makrantonaki, E. and Zouboulis, C.C., 2012. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology4(3), pp.298-307.
  5. nutritiondata.self.com
  6. Bertoia, M.L., Mukamal, K.J., Cahill, L.E., Hou, T., Ludwig, D.S., Mozaffarian, D., Willett, W.C., Hu, F.B. and Rimm, E.B., 2015. Changes in intake of fruits and vegetables and weight change in United States men and women followed for up to 24 years: analysis from three prospective cohort studies. PLoS medicine12(9), p.e1001878.
  7. Koutsos, A., Tuohy, K.M. and Lovegrove, J.A., 2015. Apples and cardiovascular health—is the gut microbiota a core consideration?. Nutrients7(6), pp.3959-3998.
  8. Gerhauser, C., 2008. Cancer chemopreventive potential of apples, apple juice, and apple components. Planta medica74(13), pp.1608-1624.
  9. Rogers, E.J., Milhalik, S., Orthiz, D. and Shea, T.B., 2004. Apple juice prevents oxidative stress and impaired cognitive performance caused by genetic and dietary deficiencies in mice. The journal of nutrition, health & aging8(2), pp.92-97.
  10. Verhagen, H., Poulsen, H.E., Loft, S., van Poppel, G., Willems, M.I. and van Bladeren, P.J., 1995. Reduction of oxidative DNA-damage in humans by Brussels sprouts. Carcinogenesis16(4), pp.969-970.
  11. Iwamoto, J., Sato, Y., Takeda, T. and Matsumoto, H., 2009. High-dose vitamin K supplementation reduces fracture incidence in postmenopausal women: a review of the literature. Nutrition research29(4), pp.221-228.
  12. Forastiere, F., Pistelli, R., Sestini, P., Fortes, C., Renzoni, E., Rusconi, F., Dell'Orco, V., Ciccone, G., Bisanti, L. and SIDRIA Collaborative Group, 2000. Consumption of fresh fruit rich in vitamin C and wheezing symptoms in children. Thorax55(4), pp.283-288.
  13. Kaur, L., Rutherfurd, S.M., Moughan, P.J., Drummond, L. and Boland, M.J., 2010. Actinidin enhances gastric protein digestion as assessed using an in vitro gastric digestion model. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry58(8), pp.5068-5073.